Choose the Part You Want To Address

Why do we feel we have to strike a haughty tone when dealing with people?

Years ago the researchers behind Transactional Analysis (TA) warned us of the dangers of Parent-Child conversations. Being chided, either the child in us pouts and huffs off — or erupts, or our own Paternal counter-judgement is invoked — a retaliatory defensiveness.

Instead if we can make requests or points addressing the maturity of the other person, speaking to the better angels in their nature, enrolling their positive pride, eliciting their commitment for something we want to advance together, we’ll get far more resourcefulness from them.

We’ll then be more likely to tap their passion and their gifts, rather than their tap dancing skills.

Whether with customers, suppliers, colleagues, partners, or anyone else — give people something to live up to in the way that you address them. Leaven judgment with appreciation and approbation, bring in objectivity and curiousity to soften the sting of sometimes necessary observations, and above all address the person you want them to be, not the crackpot that may occasionally emerge under stress. “I like who I am when I’m with you” is not a bad aspiration to try and make true for those who relate with us, in both our professional and personal lives.